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YMCA Of Northern Westchester Gets $3K Grant To Promote Kid Healthy Habits

Community YMCA of Northern Westchester Executive Director Bonnie Fogarty meets children from the Y.
Community YMCA of Northern Westchester Executive Director Bonnie Fogarty meets children from the Y. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Community YMCA of Northern Westchester received a $3,000 grant from Precor to support efforts to help children in upper Westchester live healthier lives through implementation of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in the Y’s early childhood and after-school programs.

Adopting these standards is part of the Y’s commitment to first lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America to end the threat of childhood obesity.

“As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being, the Y is helping to build a healthier future for the nation’s children,” said Cindy Rubino, chief executive officer of the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester. “YMCAs are one of the largest providers of early childhood and after-school programs in the United States. We strive to also be the healthiest. By adopting these standards we come closer to our goal.”

The Community YMCA of Northern Westchester has been providing child care programs to northern Westchester families since 1995. Annually, it cares for over 800 children in their affordable school age before/after-school programs serving North Salem, Pleasantville and Somers school districts in Westchester and the Mahopac school district in Putnam, as well as a toddler and preschool program in North Salem. It also has summer camp, swim lesson, vacation day and Teen leaders programs. Registration for all its programs are open and ongoing.

The Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards include the following :

  • Only offering healthy options at Y-provided snacks and meals.
  • Providing a fruit and/or vegetable at all meals and snacks.
  • Providing milk and water as beverages.
  • Setting limits on screen time for duration and purpose.
  • Providing daily physical activity offerings, outdoors when possible.
  • Providing family-style meals and snacks.
  • Encouraging breastfeeding for infants in Y care.
  • Having adult’s model healthy food and beverage choices and active play
  • Committing Y’s to conducting parent education to encourage healthy behaviors at home

“We believe there is no limit to the personal health goals one can attain when they have the support of the community around them,” said Rob Barker, president of Precor.

The Community YMCA of Northern Westchester is one of 50 YMCAs to receive a grant as part of an on-going national partnership between Precor and YMCA of the USA, the resource office for the nation’s YMCAs, to support the implementation of HEPA standards.

Locally, the funding will support purchase of supplies and equipment and staff trainings that will help to create a healthy, sustainable environment in an early childhood or after-school site.

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